Author Topic: Filters, do you use them?  (Read 1335 times)

Chris

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Filters, do you use them?
« on: November 15, 2010, 09:30:37 PM »
I took the new camera with me to class tonight. We're supposed to carry them at all times ya know. :) My photojournalism instructor looked it over and asked if I had filters for it. I said no, not yet. I have read differing opinions on the use of filters. He recommended using them.

What do you all think?

I did notice that within seconds of removing the lens cap for the first time I had dust on it. Will filters prevent that? I know I'd rather have to clean a filter than the lens.

keithsnell

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Re: Filters, do you use them?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2010, 11:08:22 PM »
Filters simply there for "protection" will degrade your image quality every time.  If you need a filter for a specific reason (polarizer, neutral density filter, etc.) then use it.  If you will be photographing geysers with corrosive sulphur ladened steam wafting over your lens, then use a protective filter.  If you for some reason don't like the clarity, acuity, micro-contrast, clean color and extended dynamic range that your nice new prime lens offers when shot at the optimum aperture, then use a protective filter. :)

I only use filters when I need to for a specific reason. Otherwise I don't want the degradation in image quality.  I shoot with some VERY expensive lenses, and I've never, ever had one damaged.

How old is your photojournalism instructor?  Back in the old days (really old days) lens coatings would rub off if you cleaned them too aggressively, but that was a long time ago.

Keith

P.S.
But you should always use a lens hood.  

Lars

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Re: Filters, do you use them?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2010, 07:41:08 AM »

keithsnell

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Re: Filters, do you use them?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2010, 08:13:05 AM »
Great examples at that link.  Thank you for posting the link Lars.

Keith

prairiedust

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Re: Filters, do you use them?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 09:11:49 AM »
I rarely use effect filters now.  In film days I occasionally used a circular polarizer, and also had some very sweet Tiffen diffusers with silver flakes (these gave a very pretty glow to glamour and portraits when that was needed). Red and yellow filters were indispensable in black & white photography but you're far better off capturing in full color with digital cameras, then converting to black & white on your computer.
I can see the benefit of having a good neutral density filter in the digital world  Polarizers seem to over-saturate the image on digital cameras so I avoid them, though they are still useful where reflections need to be controlled. I have some protective filters that I put on when I'm crawling around in messy environments.
Dave Leiker (PrairieDust)
Exploring the Rural Midwest

Chris

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Re: Filters, do you use them?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 09:19:58 AM »
 ;D

Thanks for the input. Great link Lars. I will keep the hoods on the lenses and consider filters as needed. What brand/type filters would you suggest? By the way, my instructor is probably somewhere around 50 but I'm not sure exactly.

Chris

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Re: Filters, do you use them?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2010, 09:23:30 AM »
I have some protective filters that I put on when I'm crawling around in messy environments.
Thanks Dave. I took the Canon for a walk through the woods the other day. I noticed it was covered in dust afterward. I got it hung up in tree branches a few times too. Maybe a filter would be good for that.

prairiedust

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Re: Filters, do you use them?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2010, 09:47:24 AM »
Dust and tree branches - my kind of photographer!  We'll have to go explore the Flint Hills wildlife refuge together sometime.  I wonder if any whooping cranes stop over in your neighborhood.  They are seeing them at the wetlands down around Great Bend (Quivira).
Dave Leiker (PrairieDust)
Exploring the Rural Midwest

keithsnell

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Re: Filters, do you use them?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2010, 09:49:30 AM »
;D

Thanks for the input. Great link Lars. I will keep the hoods on the lenses and consider filters as needed. What brand/type filters would you suggest? By the way, my instructor is probably somewhere around 50 but I'm not sure exactly.

50?  That's OLD. :)

It's a good idea to make sure whatever filter you get is multi-coated.  The cheaper ones aren't and that can result in more flare, less contrast, more ghosting, etc.

The "top tier" of filters are generally considered to be:  B&W, Heliopan, and Schneider.

Middle tier is generally considered to be Hoya and the multi-coated versions of the camera brands (Nikon, Canon)

Tiffen and your typical "off the shelf" filters are generally considered to be the "budget" range.  (Tiffen does have some higher specified filters, but typically the user that cares about those sorts of things isn't a Tiffen buyer.)

Singh-Ray is generally considered in the "top tier" if you are looking for filters to fit something like the Cokin-P filter holder (typically what you would use for a neutral density filter).

Types?:

-  A high quality "color neutral" polarizer.  I've been unhappy with the color shifts caused by polarizers on most digital cameras, and so tend to avoid the use of a polarizer unless I'm using it to remove reflections from water.  My older B&W polarizer tends to shift colors more than I like.  I'm not sure if they've reformulated the glass since digital became prevalent, but it would be something worth checking into.   My Singh-Ray polarizer seems to be a bit more neutral.

- A two stop graduated neutral density filter (Singh-Ray in a Cokin P holder)

- A multi-coated UV filter in the event that you are shooting in a corrosive or extremely dusty environment and need one for protection.

Other advice:  Good filters are expensive! and the cost can really add up.  Instead of buying one for each lens, buy one for the lens with the largest filter size (typically 77mm) and then invest in a set of these filter adapters: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/98862-REG/General_Brand_58_77_58mm_77mm_Step_Up_Ring_Lens.html

EDIT:  I changed to link above to a "step up" adapter instead of the "step down" adapter I had linked to originally.

« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 09:58:51 AM by keithsnell »

Chris

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Re: Filters, do you use them?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2010, 09:54:12 AM »
Dust and tree branches - my kind of photographer!  We'll have to go explore the Flint Hills wildlife refuge together sometime.  I wonder if any whooping cranes stop over in your neighborhood.  They are seeing them at the wetlands down around Great Bend (Quivira).
I haven't seen any whooping cranes but I have seen sandhill cranes and have a semi regular blue heron. Haven't seen any geese yet but last year there were thousands upon thousands of canada and snow geese here. Let me know when you're available. I'd love to go exploring over there. I haven't gotten too far off the trails yet and have had the kids along with me when I have been there before.

Chris

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Re: Filters, do you use them?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2010, 10:05:19 AM »
50?  That's OLD. :)

Other advice:  Good filters are expensive! and the cost can really add up.  Instead of buying one for each lens, buy one for the lens with the largest filter size (typically 77mm) and then invest in a set of these filter adapters: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/98862-REG/General_Brand_58_77_58mm_77mm_Step_Up_Ring_Lens.html

EDIT:  I changed to link above to a "step up" adapter instead of the "step down" adapter I had linked to originally.
LOL. The closer I get the less old it seems. I still have a long way to go though.

You aren't kidding. I just did a quick search for filters and they aren't cheap. I'll have to start a filter fund.  :) The adapters look like a good option. Thanks Keith.

Edit: Maybe I could get one good filter for the largest lens ( i think it's 67mm but will have to check) and adapters for the other two. I don't think any of them are the same size. heh.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 10:09:21 AM by Chris »

prairiedust

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Re: Filters, do you use them?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2010, 10:39:11 AM »
50 is old  ???   It looks so young to me now.
Dave Leiker (PrairieDust)
Exploring the Rural Midwest